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Merry Christmas, Stephen Leacock : a chamber opera for string quintet and three singers ; Concertino… Weisensel, Neil Andrew 1999

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MERRY CHRISTMAS, STEPHENLEACOCK (a chamber opera for string quintet and three singers) CONCERTINO (for two pianos and percussion) STRING QUARTET #1 an excerpt from THE MASTER'S STROKE (an opera for seven singers, chorus, and instrumental quintet) by NEIL ANDREW WEISENSEL B. Mus., The University of Manitoba, 1989 FOUR MUSICAL COMPOSITIONS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF MUSIC in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (School of Music; Composition Programme) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THETlwrVERSITY Ob^ BRITISH COLUMBIA April 1999 © Neil Andrew Weisensel, 1999 UBC Special Collections - Thesis Authorisation Form Page 1 of 1 I n p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I agree t h a t t h e L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by t h e head o f my department o r by h i s o r h e r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l n o t be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . .Bepai Lille l i t o f The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C olumbia Vancouver, Canada http ://www. library .ubc. ca/ spcoll/thesauth. html 03/05/99 Abstract: Four separate compositions make up this thesis. The chamber opera Merry Christmas Stephen Leacock is conceived as a one-act opera for film. There are three characters, portrayed by soprano, tenor and baritone voices, and musical support is provided by a string quintet with the following configuration: two violins, viola, and two cellos. The text, from a Leacock short story, was adapted into a libretto by writer Pamela Post. Composition of the work started in September 1997 and was completed in December of that same year. Revisions were completed by June of 1998. Total duration: ca. 18 min. The instrumental piece, Concertino, was started in October 1996 and finished June 1997. The musical forces required for this piece are two pianos and two percussionists playing the following, vibraphone, marimba, xylophone, toms, snare drum, and crotales. The piece is in four movements: I. Commotion II. Comfort III. Carnaval IV. Convergence/Confluence V. Coda Total duration: 18 min. 10 sec. The composition of String Quartet #1 (first movement of a set of variations on an original theme) was started in late February and completed on March 15, 1998. A theme from an earlier orchestral piece, Suite for Orchestra (1995), is developed in this quartet. Total duration: 4 min. 30 sec. The Master's Stroke is a 90-minute opera for seven main characters, SATB chorus, and chamber orchestra. The excerpt presented here is from Act I Scene I, and is scored for piano, cello, clarinet, violin and percussion. Composition commenced in earnest in January of 1999, and the score was completed in mid-April of that same year. Total duration: 10 min. ii TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ii Acknowledgements iV Merry Christmas Stephen Leacock 1 Concertino 71. String Quartet #1 91. The Master's Stroke 100. Acknowledgements: There are a few groups and individuals without whom my compositions would have never seen the light of day. In particular I would like to thank my parents for their seemingly limitless supply of love and support; Pamela Post, for her love and encouragement, and for helping me always to see the big picture; Martha Lou (Louie) Henley, for her enthusiasm in all things musical and her love of people; the faculty at UBC for the professional performance opportunities I was afforded while there, and especially Steve Chatman and Keith Hamel, for their fine instruction and encouragement. Merry Christmas Stephen Leacock was presented in Vancouver by Current Sound Opera(ations) in December 1997 with a grant from the Hamber Foundation. Many thanks to Leslie and Rosalind Beale-Dala for their talent and efforts. Concertino, for two pianos and percussion, was commissioned by The Hammerhead Consort, and funding for the composition was provided by a grant from the Manitoba Arts Council. The piece had its premiere on June 21st, 1997 in Edmonton. Swedish Radio Imports released a CD recording of Concertino in February of 1999 as part of a larger Hammerhead Consort recording. My String Quartet #1 was given a public presentation at the University of British Columbia School of Music by the Arditti Quartet on March 19, 1998. The Vancouver Opera Guild provided the funding for me to compose the excerpt from The Master's Stroke by way of their Career Development Grant in 1995. The Martha Lou Henley Foundation funded Michael Cavanagh in his development of the libretto. Vancouver New Music performed the excerpt as part of a fully-staged production on May 6th, 1999 at Vancouver's Christ Church Cathedral. Neil Weisensel, May 10, 1999 iv 2bSLDrrs«BeaverMerry Christmas Stephen Leacock M l l t a , 2 (based on a Stephen Leacock snort story) 1 l 1/98 Music: Neil Weisensel 58 -ft—f P Time Leacock Christmas Violin 1 Violin 2 Viola 'Cello 1 'Cello 2 My dear young friend, you're en tire - ly wrong Young friend? 58 mp J J J J J P m m p: mp-35 mp pizz. i™ so At first How can you call .. me young? Chr. Via 1 Vln.2 Via. Vc. 1 Vc. 2 mf mf pizz. mf Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 F = f = SI ght 1 tc ok y ou f or i in - der a * * hun - dre d. -8 How can you be sure I'm wrong? Chr. Vln. 1 Vln. 2 Via. Vc. 1 Vc. 2 11 Well, your face How can you tell. what I'm think ing? Chr. Vln. 1 Vln. 2 Via. Vc. 1 Vc. 2 11 m -2- O 1997 N«il Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 -3- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 -4- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 -6- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 45 cient gyp' see - ing them get out their Chr. Vln. 1 Vln. 2 Via. Vc. 1 Vc. 2 45 5^ pizz. 48 Christ things, all cut in hei - ro - gly - phics. Chr. Vln. 1 Vln. 2 48 ^ 5 Via. Vc. 1 Vc. 2 sul ponL pizz. 3 5 ^ -7- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 -8- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 O 1997 Neil Weisensel -10b -11- © Neil Weisensel 1998 -12- © Neil Weisensel 1998 -14- © Neil Weisensel 1998 Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 -16- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 -22- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 -25- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 -26- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 -27- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 -29- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 -30- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 -31- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 -32- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 264 Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 -34- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 277 -35- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 283 286 -36- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 289 -37- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 -38- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 303 Vc. 2 -39- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 -40- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 328 66 (spoken): A l l of us can, every one of us. If I can. Vln. 1 V l n . 2 Via. Vc. 2 332 J = J F £ : I - I B - - i — * Schn apps? V i a 1 -42- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 -43- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 -44- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 say that in an - cient Bab - y - Ion! Chr. Vln. 1 Vln. 2 Via. Vc. 1 Vc. 2 050 66 353 Chr. Vln. 1 Vln. 2 Vc. 1 Vc. 2 -45- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 358 -46- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 -48- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 394 400 -49- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 406 Chr. Vln. 1 Vln. 2 Via. Vc. 1 Vc. 2 406 50 Time, reach me that bit of string. That's right. 50 s jir~"j \>» bd f-solo f — > Titp dolce ed espreshvo p 414 Chr. Vln. 1 Vln. 2 Here, hold out your fin - gers a - cross the knot. 414 Now, p 1^ MP i 1 ^. 1—bs f r - f t — +4 J T I J r u r J tp tJ p ™ T * - - w -• J i l l r - O " . — _ ^ r -- 2 "Jt 4 Via. Vc. 1 Vc. 2 -50- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 422 -51 O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 -52- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 cresc. -53- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 -54- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 -57- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 -58- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 -62- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 -64- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 -66- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 -68- O 1997 Neil Weisensel Draft 2 Nov. 21/98 545 Chr. Vln. 1 Vln. 2 Via. 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